(What’s The Story) Morning Glory? 25 Years On

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A quarter of a century ago Oasis handed us an album that made them the biggest British band of the 1990s.

Released a year and a month after their debut album, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? brought Oasis the kind of tidal wave of adulation that Nirvana had earned a few years earlier. With this surging popularity, Oasis kicked the spotlight back to this side of the Atlantic, and in the direction of their hometown of Manchester.

OasisOasis: Tony McCarroll, Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs, Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher, Paul ‘Guigsy’ McGuigan in 1994

There are few albums that reflect the mood of the mid-1990s in this part of the world like What’s The Story…. It’s partly because after its release, Oasis were omnipresent; you couldn’t go 24 hours without either hearing them or seeing pictures of them. But you can’t look beyond the songs; Cast No Shadow, She’s Electric, Morning Glory, and then you have those colossal singles too.

On October 2nd of 1995, they etched their names into history with the release of (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? That sounds like a slightly overblown statement, but saying anything less would be unjustly underplaying the impact that it had.

Noel and Liam Gallagher during a photoshoot in Japan in 1994

All that said, what strikes you when listening back to What’s The Story… is you don’t have to rely on nostalgia to immerse yourself in it. There were undoubtedly more adventurous albums released around this time (Radiohead’s OK Computer, Horsedrawn Wishes by Rollerskate Skinny, and PJ Harvey’s To Bring You My Love) but you’d struggle to find an album that has so many songs that are both immediate and memorable.

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There was a time that there was a danger that songs like Don’t Look Back In Anger and Wonderwall were in danger of being busked to death. At house parties (remember those?) if a guitar was produced, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that a rendition of one of these two songs would crop up.

 Liam Gallagher and Noel Gallagher performing on The White Room in 1996

When a band’s popularity reaches those heights, it inevitably brings a backlash, and Oasis received one far greater than most. While the Gallaghers seemed to shrug most of it off, it had to leave a few scars.

Fame at that level is transient, and as the 1990s drew to a close the circus that surrounded Oasis had left. They would go on to release some mediocre albums, along with some really good ones too; 2002’s Heathen Chemistry and 2008’s Dig Out Your Soul are particularly strong.

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If you were to use a play on words, 1994’s Definitely Maybe gave Oasis the perfect platform to go supersonic.

To do that, they needed to follow it up with something that befitted a band that had so much expectation placed upon them.

On October 2nd of 1995, they etched their names into history with the release of (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? That sounds like a slightly overblown statement, but saying anything less would be unjustly underplaying the impact that it had.

Hear highlights of Oasis live at the 1995 Roskilde festival on Dan’s 2fm show at 10pm on Thursday, October 15.

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